8 militans killed in NW Pakistan
The firefight in Okarzai happened when the gunmen attacked an army outpost Wednesday morning in the latest upsurge of violence in the walkup to a general parliamentary election.
Pakistani military officials say 30 soldiers and nearly 100 militants have been killed in four days of fierce fighting in a remote valley in the northwest.
The officials said on Monday that the army has managed to wrestle control of a large part of the Tirah Valley away from the Pakistani Taliban and their allies.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.
The army on Friday launched a ground offensive in the Tirah Valley, located in Khyber, part of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region.
The tribal region is the main sanctuary for the Taliban in the country.
Rival militant groups, including the Pakistani Taliban, have been fighting for supremacy in the valley in recent weeks, forcing thousands of civilians to flee the rugged, mountainous area.
Pakistan has given its consent to US drones’ delivering strikes on its territory for the purpose of eliminating Taliban militants. Islamabad has sent a secret notification to Washington on that score, local media reports said.
This agreement sanctions the regular flights of drones over the zones inhabited by the Pakistani tribes where the majority of the Taliban fighters’ bases are located.
Pakistan has asked the USA to abstain from carrying out attacks in close vicinity of the nuclear centres and camps in Kashmir, where the anti-Indian extremists are being trained under the leadership of the Pakistani intelligence service.
The above-mentioned secret deal was concluded after the drones had killed the Taliban commander Nek Muhammad who was linked to Al Qaeda and whom the Pakistani authorities had recognized as a “state enemy”.
Voice of Russia, TASS, AP